Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's That Time of Year...Girl Scout Cookie Ordering Time is Here!

Help Shape A Life...Order Yours Today
If you have been paying attention, there are little signs that my own favorite time of the year is here...well, the beginning of it.  YES, we can order our Girl Scout cookies for 2012...you can see a sign hanging in the window of 58 Main Street that provides a clue. 

If you do not have a Girl Scout come knocking on your door, or sending you an email to place your annual cookie order, you can always find a location where they are being sold by visiting the Girl Scout "Cookie Locator."  You can also download APPS designed to help you find cookies as well...now how cool is that?  To understand just how important this yearly fund raiser is, to see all the wonderful things that cookie money does you can visit this page.

Here in the Hudson Valley according the Girl Scout website, the official season does not start for another 21 days, but this writer is READY FOR IT.  For our local Girl Scouts, remember to get my order...I am usually good for at least a case...HEY, I love my Girl Scout Cookies....especially the Somoas!...OMG...give me a tall glass of icy cold milk, and can eat a full box in one sitting...so bad!  One new kind of cookie did make a brief appearance here in Mountaindale already and let me tell you, was a tasty treat.  Need answers?  Try following @girlscouts on Twitter!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

This CUTE Adorable Kitten Needs a Home

Our very own Mountaindale Cat Rescue Lady (Lorrie Blank-Frishman) sent me a picture today of a truly cute and adorable kitten that is in desperate need of a good home.  If you or someone else is wanting a cat, or perhaps has a single cat in need of some company please consider adopting this one.  For more information, please call Lorrie at (845) 436-8945 or drop me an email at marcwoodsocialimaging@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

Saturday Night and Into Sunday Musings and "News on the Run"

What a stunningly beautiful day today was...warm enough to wear a light spring jacket, temperatures well up into the 40's.  Wish I had had the time to enjoy more of it in an outdoor kind of a way, but was just not to be. Mean time, we had all best enough the respite from winter, as the weather forecast is calling for a dusting of snow overnight, and colder temperatures returning over the next couple of days.

It's sad going into Uccelli's Restaurant at just after seven on a Saturday night and see no one in there dining.  One has to wonder what the future holds, one has to hope that spring brings a larger crowd.

Saturday/Sunday "News on the Run"

The kiss of death?  Hermann Cain endorses Newt Gingrich...seriously, is that an endorsement Newt really wants?  Thinking here is Herman Cain really wants Gingrich to win that he should have taken his endorsement and given it to Mitt Romney.  GO HOME PIZZA MAN.

Police arrest over 300 Occupy Movement protesters in Oakland as American Flag is burned on the steps of City Hall.  Again, the Oakland Police used overwhelming force (POLICE BRUTALITY) to control those legally exercising their "First Amendement Rights".  The exasperated mayor accused the protesters of using Oakland as their playground...here is a clue Ms. Jean Quan...these protesters are NOT PLAYING, but are very serious in calling for change, in demanding that the one percent are no longer catered to by politicians, and local police departments. 

Oakland Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, echoed Reid's sentiments and said that what was going on amounts to "domestic terrorism."   Domestic Terrorism?  Curious, what do you call it when corporations and our government oppress tens of millions of Americans in the name of GREED?  Lets look at the definition of terrorism:

1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.
Police used tear gas, the police used intimadation, the police shot projectiles at citizens...just who is using violence and threats to intimadate. and who wants to BREAK THE BACK OF THE MOVEMENT for Political Purposes? 
 Rick Santorum has cancelled his campaign stops in Florida to be by his daughter Bella's side, as she has been admitted to the hospital.  Bella suffers from Trisomy 18, a genetic condition caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 18th chromosome...most children with this condition rarely live more than one week.  Our prayers are with Rich and his family.

Should Yoga be regulated?  There is zero government regulation of Yoga, no formal licensing requirements for those teaching it.  Problem is, people can get hurt through improper teachings...so, the question is, has the time come to require formal training and licensing of Yoga instructors, rather than letting the market and the Yoga industry to self police?  Yoga is a great and wonderful thing, but as they used to say on "Hill Street Blues", "Let's be careful out there."

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Ugly Outside, and Friday "News on the Run"

Been outside working, and it's UGLY out...not exactly pellets, but stinging, almost but not quite frozen rain drops pelting down from the gray overcast sky.  If the weather forecast is accurate, look for much the same all day with the sun finally peeking back in on us again sometime Saturday, though the temperatures will remain cold...not frigid, just cold.  All in all, it has been a very mild January for us here in downtown Mountaindale, so no complaints here.

Yesterday saw me officially move the remainder of my stuff out of 60 Main Street here in Mountaindale, bringing to a close my own dream of opening up the "Second Time Around" gallery and the "Second Cup Cafe", though the dream of opening up these enterprises is still alive and well and living in Burbank as I explore other options and avenues that may be  out there on the horizon here in Sullivan County.

Friday "News on the Run"
Fukushima's tragic tale of abandoned animals.  For those of us living in the shadow if Indian Point and other aging relics from the age of the "Friendly Atom", so many sad truths to be learned in the aftermath of the Fukushima meltdown, none more than the ten if not hundreds of thousands of animals left behind to die slow deaths in the radioactive fallout zone referred to as the "EXCLUSION ZONE".  Cats, dogs (peoples pets) as well as livestock all abandoned, left to die...you will not find these victims factored into NRC's accident formulas, will not find them included in Entergy evacuation plans.  All you will find is a rule that tells us we cannot bring our pets along to the shelters...maybe perhaps because they already know just how inadequate these shelters are in the case of a serious nuclear incident.  Did you know that Entergy, our local, state and federal government can only handle five percent of the citizens at a shelter should a serious incident ever occur at Indian Point...that is why the NRC now wants us to shelter in place.

Yet another far left leaning think tank is trying to disguise AMNESTY for Illegal Aliens...for starters, lets label them what they are...ILLEGAL ALIENS, and lets stop trying to pretend they are NOT CRIMINALS.  They are criminals, they should be prosecuted, where necessary serve their time, and then be deported.  Lets forget about the Dream Act (a nightmare for those who are here or came here LEGALLY), and lets stop saying our immigration policy is broken...our immigration policy is not broken, it is NOT ENFORCED.  Make E-Verify the law of the land, marry that to work place and neighborhood raids, and you would see a large percentage of ILLEGAL ALIENS self deporting themselves, and we solve the whole problem.  Note...I am a liberal, but not when it comes to the issue of Illegal Immigration.

YAWN...yet another Republican Debate last night.  Who cares...seriously, enough with the debates already folks...how many times can we listen to Newt and Romney before we die of BOREDOM?  At least Ron Paul provided us some comic relief.

Company that Mitt Romney was a board member of, guilty of Medicare Fraud...does that make Mitt Romney guilty to some degree of MEDICARE FRAUD?  Oh, silly me, I keep forgetting that people like Mitt are never responsible when things go wrong, when LAWS ARE BROKEN.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

With All Due Respect President Obama FRACK OFF

Dear Mr. Obama...

With all due respect, FRACK OFF...you just lost my vote, my respect, and the right to expect me to see you as my President.  Go rape someone else's lands, contaminate someone other than myself and my community's water in the name of your National Energy Policy, in the name of the Natural Gas industry.  Times have changed, and we have heard both Dick Chaney, and Vice President Biden drop the F-Bomb...so, FUCK OFF OBAMA...you just sold out to the Natural Gas industry, just showed yourself a demon spawn of the worst kind, a Republican in Democrats clothing.

Fracking is NOT BEING DONE SAFELY, and as for the government developing the technology...you mean like the time that the DOE tried Atomic Fracking, detonating a nuclear bomb in the hopes of freeing up Natural Gas trapped underground?  The gas so contaminated as to be unusable...refined technology...the kind that contaminates our drinking water, causes untold THOUSANDS of cancer cases, but leaves the Natural Gas usable, ready to be SOLD TO CHINA.

If you think you can ruin our communities, poison our lands, spoil our waters, and visit death upon our children by clearing the road for wholesale fracking with the stroke of your pen Mr. Obama, you are wrong, and the Anti-Fractivists, those in the Occupy Movement will show you we have far more backbone for this fight than you are giving us credit for.  When you get your head out of the ass of Chesapeake Energy, Cabot oil, when you grow tired of pandering to special interests in the name of a second term, perhaps the two sides can talk, but till then, you have just put yourself in a position of BEING AGAINST THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

Let's Get Ready to Renaissance!

It's that time of year again!...time to plan your Renaissance Projects...
An Overview of the 2012 Grant Program and How to Apply

[FERNDALE] – Volunteers interested in learning about the 2012 Sullivan Renaissance grant program and getting help in planning their projects and completing their applications should attend the “Get Ready to Renaissance” seminar on Wednesday, February 1 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the CVI Center in Ferndale. 
The seminar will review the basics of the Sullivan Renaissance program, including how to apply for grants, deadlines, youth involvement, design and maintenance changes and other requirements.  Staff will discuss project ideas and review paperwork with potential applicants.  Refreshments will be served.
Beginning February 1, applications are available for download from the Sullivan Renaissance web site  in a portable document format (PDF) with fillable form fields.  Applications can be completed electronically and e-mailed to Sullivan Renaissance (along with required documentation) or printed and mailed before March 23.
If requested, Sullivan Renaissance representatives will visit communities at their convenience to explain the program, review the garden design plans and assist with the application process.
Beautification and community development grant applications are due by Wednesday, March 21.  These grants will be awarded at the Spring Forum on April 19 at the CVI Building in Liberty.  Projects must be completed in August.  Some Sullivan Renaissance grant programs have different deadlines, including: environmental and seasonal grants; and scholarships.  Intern applications are due on April 7. 
Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation. 
Individuals wishing to attend the Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference and Expo on Saturday, March 10 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the CVI Center in Ferndale will be able to register and sign up for workshops directly on-line beginning February 1.  Keynote speaker Joe Lamp’l, host of the TV series “Growing a Greener World,” will talk about the latest trends in eco-friendly living. 
To register or for information, visit www.sullivanrenaissance.org or call 845-295-2445.

Tuesday "News on the Run"

This weather just does not know what it wants to do.  From almost zero a few days ago too 43 today, and temperatures rising to as much as 45 by Friday of this week!  Hard to get acclimated to winter when it just is not staying around for more than a day or two at a time.  Which might explain the really horrid colds that seem to be going around here in downtown Mountaindale.

"News on the Run"

Top story today...poor old Millionaire Mitt Romney and his tax returns.  Must be nice to have so much money invested that you earned 42 million dollars in just two years...even nicer when all that money is taxed at just 14 percent!  Even a better bargain when you also realize he is not having too pay Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment or Workers Comp taxes on any of that money.  Figure it out folks, and with your Social Security Taxes, Medicare/Medicaid and other taxes, you are probably paying around a 30 percent tax rate, while poor old Mitt (who thinks he is ONE OF US) is paying a rate of just FOURTEEN PERCENT!...and we wonder why the rich are getting richer while more and more of us are falling out of the middle class?  Ask yourselves folks....do we really want a President of the United States who has to live on a paltry $36,000 a day after taxes?

56,000 JOB OPENINGS!  Seriously folks, these top performing companies are hiring, having on average 700 ob openings each.  So, dust off those resumes and start sending them out.  Let's see, 56,000 people without jobs get jobs...that only leaves 19 million more people needing work for everything in America to be hunkydory again.  Maybe Mitt can create some more jobs by destroying companies as a corporate raider?

Is your hair already shampooed, do you find yourself with ZERO Social Life?  If so, this is your lucky night.  You can turn on the TV, and at nine PM find wall to wall coverage on almost every channel as President Obama delivers his "State of the Union" address to the nation.  Thinking it would be nice to have the president start off with something honest like, "I'm going to level with you folks...the state of the union sucks right now, especially if you are in the middle or lower class."

Thank You Readers...Our Best Traffic Month Ever


THANK YOU SO MUCH...with over seven days yet to go, pleased to announce that January (only our third month since launch) is our best traffic month ever here at "Mountaindale After Dark" with us having a very real chance of us having a higher monthly traffic count than was ever seen during my time as editor of Mountaindale NY News.  So, thanks to all of you who stop by and visit from here in Mountaindale, and around the world...we so far have had visitors from over 20 countries find our little home here on the web.

Fracking Foes Yesterday Marched In Albany

Average Law Abiding Citizens Seek Ban on Fracking
The fracking war continues as well funded Industry Lobbyist try buying off government officials at every level of our government, from the local politician to the halls of Congress in Washington, DC.  Meanwhile, average every day citizens are continuing the good fight, trying to save our water, our health, and our pristine environment here in New York state, many of those average citizens taking yesterday off from work to get in buses to head to Albany to march down the halls of our Legislative Building seeking articulate, intelligent elected officials who willing to listen to their call for an "Out Right Ban" on hydraulic fracturing here in New York state, and there are ever mounting numbers of reason to pass a bill that would create such a ban.

The old adage says, "where there is smoke there is fire" and with each passing day, week, there is mounting evidence that "Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing" causes lots of problems, and does contaminate both our water, and our environment, that there is FIRE that the industry is trying to sweep under the carpet.  

There is also ever mounting proof that the Natural Gas industry is playing a con game on both America, and the world in the name of PROFITS and shale gas drilling.  No better example of this can be found than the industry's claim that Hydraulic Fracturing has been done safely now for 60 years...NOT EXACTLY.  They are comparing apples to oranges.  Vertical Horizontal fracking has been used for 60 years, and on average uses maybe 60,000 gallons of water to frack a well, and is done at much shallower depths.  

Horizontal Fracking in many cases drills down into Mother Earth over a mile deep, then horizontally drills just as far sideways...so, a mile deep, and a mile in any direction is much different than singular bore hole vertical fracking.  No greater example of the difference can be found in these two diametrically opposing techniques than looking at the huge amount of water needed to frack just one Horizontal well....these horizontal wells use on average more than 2.5 MILLION GALLONS of our precious water supplies.  Do the math folks....60,000 gallons verse 2.5 million gallons per well...and don't forget the CANCER CAUSING CHEMICALS mixed in with that 2.5 million gallons of water.

Want another con...Cabot was excused from delivering water to the citizens of Dimock Pennsylvania even though they CONTAMINATED THE WATER SUPPLIES, and now in Dimock and other communities where fracking is taking place, the US EPA is delivering citizens drinkable water AT THE TAXPAYER's EXPENSE!  That's right...the (un)Natural Gas industry comes in, drills for gas, contaminates wells and underground water aquifers, then leaves out of town leaving the burden and expenses of repairing the damage they did on WE THE PEOPLE.
Norma Fiorentino’s drink­ing water well was a time bomb. For weeks, work­ers in her small north­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia town had been plumb­ing nat­ural gas deposits from a drilling rig a few hun­dred yards away. They cracked the earth and pumped in flu­ids to force the gas out. Some­how, stray gas worked into tiny crevasses in the rock, leak­ing upward into the aquifer and slip­ping qui­etly into Fiorentino’s well. Then, accord­ing to the state’s work­ing the­ory, a motor­ized pump turned on in her well house, flicked a spark and caused a New Year’s morn­ing blast that tossed aside a con­crete slab weigh­ing sev­eral thou­sand pounds.
Fiorentino wasn’t home at the time, so it’s dif­fi­cult to know exactly what hap­pened. But after­ward, state offi­cials found methane, the largest com­po­nent of nat­ural gas, in her drink­ing water. If the fumes that built up in her well house had col­lected in her base­ment, the explo­sion could have killed her.
As yourselves Sullivan County residents..."can our rural community afford the costs that come with Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing?"  All those heavy trucks will take a heavy toll on our rural roads, but the Natural Gas industry is not going to pick up the tab to repair them.  Some of us, perhaps a large number of us will see our fresh water supplies negatively impacted, perhaps even forever RUINED, but the (un)Natural Gas industry has already shown their true colors, will not be there picking up the tab when we have no choice but to BUY WATER to drink, cook, and clean with.  Some of us will suffer very serious, even deadly negative health impacts...the (un)Natural Gas industry is not going to be there to pay our medical bills, is not going to give us a pay check when we are too sick to work.

The time has come for every small hamlet, village, town and city in our county to demand local legislation BANNING FRACKING.  It is time for our state officials in Albany to do the right thing and pass a law that BANS FRACKING, and it is time for Governor Cuomo to SIGN THAT BILL INTO LAW.

The Rich Get Richer...and Mitt Romney is Fine With That

I know your PAIN America...I live on 36K a Day!
Love watching Republican Pundits trying to justify a less than fifteen percent tax rate on the TWENTY MILLION dollars that Mitt Romney earned in 2010...yes, that is TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS!  Oh, in case you think all Americans are born equal, look at the 100 million dollar trust Mitt Romney has set us for his children.

Lets talk about that 20 million dollars in earnings, and the 15 percent tax rate...the theory is, that the tax rate should be less on that 20 million dollars because it is money that was earned through investments using money already taxed.  To simplify that, imagine if you could take $10,000 of your earnings this year and invest it into the stock market, and that money earned you $1,500 in NEW MONEY.  The rich believe that they should get a break on that NEW MONEY, as they already paid taxes before.  

Another interesting question for everyone to ponder...is it fair that Mitt Romney has managed to tuck $100 million into a family trust, WHILE AVOIDING PAYING TAXES on said donations to his family trust?  Are we all screaming "LOOPHOLES" at this point in the dialogue? 

Now with donations to charity, and the taxes he paid, seems like poor ole Mitt has to get by in 2010 on a misely $13 million dollars.  This poor out of work Millionaire (remember him telling us that he knows our pain, is without a job himself?) had to get by on just under THIRTY SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS A DAY...that's right, poor Mitt Romney has to survive, live his life, run for president, and support his family on $36,000 a day.....OMG, how can he manage?  Of course he can relate to our middleclass plight, he is JUST LIKE US!

Maybe he should write a book, "Mitt, How I Survive on $36,000 a Day, and in Style".

Monday, January 23, 2012


Local Merchants Offer Discounts for Community Projects  

[MONTICELLO] – Local businesses can support community beautification projects throughout Sullivan County by joining the Merchant Discount Program organized by the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce and Sullivan Renaissance.

Now in its eleventh year, the program links volunteer Renaissance projects with businesses offering discounts on products and services used to clean up and beautify communities.

Sullivan Renaissance grants provide community groups with seed money for beautification and spruce up projects.  Grant amounts range from $200 to $5000 depending on the size of the project.  The discount program helps this money go farther, while encouraging local spending.

“Everyone wins with this program,” said Chamber President and CEO Terri Ward.  “Merchants get an increase in business; community groups are able to stretch their resources while keeping the dollars local; and Sullivan County looks more inviting to visitors and residents alike.”

Merchants set the savings amounts – typically 10% to 20% or more – and are given a list of participants.  Project leaders are given special cards to identify that the items they are purchasing will be used for community projects.  Stores are publicized in flyers, news releases and on the Sullivan Renaissance website [www.sullivanrenaissance.org].

To register for the program, individuals should contact the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce at 845-791-4200 or Sullivan Renaissance at 845-295-2452.  Businesses do not need to be chamber members to participate.


Merchants are invited to attend the Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference and Expo on Saturday, March 10 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the CVI Center in Ferndale.  “Main Street Success Stories” and “Enhance Your Storefront for Under $200” are free workshops geared for business.  Keynote speaker Joe Lamp’l, host of the TV series “Growing a Greener World,” will talk about the latest trends in eco-friendly living.  For information on how to register, go to www.sullivanrenaissance.org or call 845-295-2445.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Penn State Legend Dies

One thing is clear...putting aside the scandel that ended his career, Joe Paterno was one of the greatest college coaches to ever take the field.  Joe Paterno, the former head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions has passed away, losing his brief but brave battle against cancer.  This legend of the grid iron will be missed. 

Holy Fracking CHIT...Feds Say Natural Gas in Well Water EXPLOSIVE

One has to be curious...how many examples is it going to take for both state and federal environmental agencies to do their JOBS, and admit that FRACKING IS NOT SAFE?  We have yet another example of not only poisoned, but EXPLOSIVE water in Ohio that can be attributed to Natural Gas Hydraulic Fracturing, or as we well informed environmental activists call it, FRACKING.

What is scary...it is the CDC,  not the EPA that is taking the (un)Natural Gas industry to task on this explosive issue.

In a Dec. 22 letter to the U.S. EPA, the CDC agency said both families are still at risk from potentially dangerous natural gas levels. The agency concluded that “the current conditions are likely to pose a public health threat.”

The agency looked at natural gas levels detected last November by the Granger Township Fire Department.
The levels of explosivity were 34.7 and 47.4 percent at wells at the two houses, the agency said. Hazardous conditions exist when levels surpass 10 percent, the health agency said.

The gas levels in and around the Mangans’ house have been so high that firefighters were called several times. Columbia Gas shut off service for a time because of the likelihood of an explosion. 

Fracking is dangerous, fracking is contaminating our fresh water supplies, and fracking is creaking serious risk to human health and life, and it is time for the EPA to stop playing games with our lives.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Newt Body Slams Mitt in South Carolina, Republican Party In Disarray

They Ain't Going To Beat Me
It's official...CNN has called South Carolina for Newt Gingrich as he body slams Mitt Romney...this leaves the Republican party in disarray as they head towards a show down with the Democrats for the White House.  The Democrats and Obama have to be loving the Republican Primary this year as every candidate the Republicans have finds a way to self destruct.  

Meanwhile, Mitt just gave his concession speech, pretending he did not really lose anything, still trying to act as if he is the presumptive Republican Presidential Candidate...up next...FLORIDA.

Like Dante's Inferno, Fracking Waste Water Burns The Flames of Hell

FRACKING HELL...coming to your backyard in Sullivan County"
Dante's Inferno has nothing on a Fracking Waste Water Dump hole when it comes to uncontrolled flaming fires spewing contaminants into the night sky...and our BACK YARDS!...seems the Eagle Ford Disposal site in Texas had a bit of an issue last night...chalk up another hazard, and another accident for the fine folks in the Natural Gas Industry that keep assuring us they want to DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME THROUGH...seems they are failing miserably all over America at every step in the process...keep in mind that the NYDEC has failed to facture in the WHOLE PROCESS when it comes to their proposed guidelines for regulating FRACKING IN OUR STATE!

Three people have been injured after an explosion and fire at a disposal well in Pearsall, Texas Thursday night. The site is used for disposal of fracking fluids from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, about 50 miles from San Antonio.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Judge Rules Vermont Cannot Shut Down Dangerous Entergy Plant

Entergy...Vital, Safe, Secure?  THINK AGAIN
Lets not mince words...Entergy, in my opinion, is one of the most corrupt, dishonest companies in the nuclear industry, and it is my belief that the judge has erred in denying the citizens and government of Vermont their right to shut down the ailing plant.  

So the question is, what should Vermont do...my answer...violate the judges order,  use State Troopers, or if necessary the National Guard troops to forcibly shut down Vermont Yankee.  For those of you who think such talk is radical...leaving a dangerous reactor operating is far more dangerous, and if troops could be used to kill students at Kent State in the 70's for no good reason, surely using troops in 2012 for the GREAT REASON of shutting down a failing nuclear reactor that could kill people should be justified. 

The time has come for states to TAKE BACK OUR RIGHTS...on immigration (think illegal aliens), on natural resources (think fracking), and on nuclear energy...everyone knows that the NRC is rubberstamping license renewal applications to SAVE THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY with little if any concern for the local communities being forced to play host to these dangerous aging nuclear relics, so maybe it is time we deploy some basic self preservation, and do whatever it takes at a state and local level to shut down unwanted industrial complexes and dangerous nuclear reactors.  What is that Federal Judge going to do...hit the state with a contempt of court charge?  Sometimes, for the safety of ourselves, our children, and our communities, we have to take the law into our own hands, and this seems like one of those times.

Coming Soon To "Montaindale After Dark"...Community Bulletin Board

Just a little buzzzzzzzz...we here at Mountaindale After Dark will soon be launching a very exciting add on to this blog, the "Sullivan County/Catskills Community Bulletin Board".  It will include a fully accessible calendar where you can add your events, and we can add both public and private boards for your groups and interests, such as local music, gardening, Girl Scouts, or anything else...such as FRACKING.  If you are interested in having a public or private board, or would like to act as a moderator for a specific board, please contact Sherwood Martinelli at marcwoodsocialimaging@gmail.com

There will be boards for Mountaindale, Fallsburg, Morningside and Mountaindale Parks, as well as a few special interest boards.  More boards will be added as interest and membership grows. 

Check back in for more news as we get closer to the launch of this project.

Fracking News From Around The World

A Nightmare Coming To Sullivan County...FRACKING
Here in New York, fracking is big news as the NYDEC wades through some 40,000 comments deciding which ones they feel have enough merit to warrant a response...I guess that means most of us ordinary folks will see our comments ignored.  Meanwhile, thought it time for another news update here, so here are some of the fracking stories grabbing headlines this week.  Now I would like to pose one question...seems there is some concern on the part of the EPA about elevated levels of radioactivity in the waste water streams from Hydraulic Fracturing...seems to be, dependent on the elevated levels found in these waters from hydraulic fracturing activities, that operators/well owners should also be required to be licensed with the NRC? 

Out in Nebraska, Oil executives are defending fracking...so surprise there.  More importantly, they are lining up shoulder to shoulder in a full court press to defeat a bill that would require them to making chemicals used in the process a matter of public record.  One question oil company executives...if as you claim, all those chemicals being used in hydraulic fracturing are so SAFE FOR US, why are you all objecting to a law that would make you tell us what they are?  Birth Defects killed 153.1 out of every 100,000 babies born in Nebraska in 2001, the infant mortality rate due to birth defects accounting for 22.6% of all infant deaths...shouldn't citizens be allowed to know if some of those death causing birth defects were caused from chemicals being used in Hydraulic Fracturing Mr. Executive?

Leave it to companies like Haliburton to make something ugly hideous! As if fracking is not bad enough, we have companies trying to bring us SUPER FRACKING...you cannot make this up.  Love the quote at the bottom of this article, which pretty well sums it up:

The bottom line: Despite the furor over fracking to extract oil, energy companies are developing ways to make it more destructive—and profitable.

Last, but certainly not least...haven't we learned our lesson from the Nuclear Industry, that an industry should be required to have a plan to deal with its waste streams BEFORE they do something?  Sorry, but drilling 5,000 holes into the ground and dumping your waste streams IS NOT A PLAN, though that is exactly what the Hydraulic Fracturing industry is doing!

Governor Cuomo should adhere to the will of the people (as in the majority of New Yorkers) and ban fracking in our state...sadly, not only will he not do this, but he is bent on destroying our state parks in the process by selling Natural Gas rights in them to the villains he is supposed to be regulating.

Teenager's Homework Gets Him Arrested

Love reading strange news story...love them even more when they are local, as in Liberty New York.  Seems that a local teenager is in trouble with the law for breaking into a Auction House...how was he caught you ask? Apparently, he lost his homework in the woods behind the auction house....WHOOPS!  Do hope though that the police have more evidence than just his name on his homework page...last time I looked, walking around in the woods was not against the law...even if the woods is right behind a recently robbed Auction House.

Friday "News on the Run"

What a beautiful day outside...the snow last night is cleared off of our streets here in Mountaindale, while everything else is covered in a blanket of what, giving our little hamlet a picture post card feel, the sun seeing the crystals from the snow shining and sparkling like a field of diamonds.  We have more snow in the forecast for tonight, turning to rain tomorrow...that troublesome forecast of ICE PELLETS again rearing its ugly head, which would not bode well for tomorrow night's Salsa Dancing.  My understanding is the event will be moved to Sunday (January 22) if the weather refuses to cooperate tomorrow night. 

Another reminder of a local nature...if you have a birthday in January, then tonight Nadia's in Hurleyville is the place to be...come join in the fun as this wonderful little establishment (with some great food) celebrates those born in the month of January.  Everyone is welcome, even if you were born in a different month.  You might want to call in a reservation! (845) 434-8051

Friday "News on the Run"
Perhaps in the biggest news of the day, is Mitt Romney suddenly self destructing right before our eyes?  Mr. Big MoJo suddenly does not seem quite the candidate he was just a few days ago, and it is looking as if Mr (open marriage) Gingrich could pull off a stunning upset victory in South Carolina...or not.  Lets face it, all of the networks have spent a lot of money HYPING the Republican Primary season only to have it fizzle as one candidate after another self destructed, leaving Romney the winner by default...perhaps he still is, but he sure looked weak in the debate last night, while Gingrich has a couple of sterling moments that are creating quite the buzz.  Looking at Governor Arnold, John McCain, Newt Gingrich, and of course the pizza guy, do affairs matter, and more importantly, is it time that the Republicans stop portraying themselves as the "Family Values" party?  Must be something in the water they drinking...fracking chemicals perhaps?

Seems you can break the law and not be punished...IF YOU ARE AN ILLEGAL ALIEN.  That's right, the Department of Homeland Security is rushing to cancel the deportations of some 1600 illegal aliens because they do not present a National Security Risk.  I am curious here Janet...you don't mind if I call you Janet do you?  Curious, if I forged some documents, stole a social security number, borrowed someone else's credit history, and got a job I was not really entitled to, as a LEGAL CITIZEN of the United States, if I got caught would the Department of Homeland Security moved quickly to dismiss charges that might have been brought against me?...oh, never mind, sure I would be tossed in prison for awhile, but if I were an illegal alien, different story...right?

In news we are not hearing a lot of from CNN (they and their parent company are in support of it), seems that SOPA vote has been postponed by Reid.   

Anonymous teaches the feds a lesson...The justice department wrongfully shut down the 72nd largest site on the internet (Megaupload), criminally charged numerous employees...wasting no time at all, the folks at Anonymous SHUT DOWN the Justice Department and FBI websites.  Maybe the US government needs to realize the WEB BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE, not the United States government!  The feds are treating the "distributed denial of service" (DDoS) attack as malicious...here is a clue...it was a PROTEST, an exercise of ones Civil Rights.  Oh, but sure you folks would love to say a whole bunch of angry citizens suddenly visiting one site is against the law now, wouldn't you?

Hope you enjoy todays, "News on the Run".  Going to go take more cold meds here and get myself a little afternoon nap.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Goods News...Salsa In Mountaindale This Weekend

Janet with Radiant Yoga is bringing Salsa to Mountaindale this weekend!

Saturday January 21, 2012
7-10 PM
(lessons from 7-7:30)

Mountaindale Community Center
62 Main Street
Mountaindale, New York
Diagonally across from Radiant Yogo.

Instructors: Harold and Bette Fried.

Tea and refreshments will be served.  Sure it will be a fun night for all involved. 

Sorry For Absence, and Thursday "News on the Run"

Laying here in bed SICK AS A DOG...not sure there is anything worse than a winter cold that grabs hold of us and will not let go.  All the Nyquil, Dayquil, lozenges and netti pot washes I tried just would not beat it back this week, so am seriously under the weather here.  So, do apologize that I have not been here with my usual breaking news and events pieces.  That said, sitting here in bed with ringing ears, a pile of used Kleenex tissues, and morning coffee bringing you a Thursday edition of "News on the Run".
In news of a local flavor.  The folks at Trails and Parks New York have granted the "Rails to Trails" Committee here a grant of $2200!  Money will be used to complete and distribute  the new membership brochure, and sure there are many in the community happy to see this project finally moving forward to the finish line.  A special thanks to Adele and Allen for contributing to the work necessary to making this grant happen.  The funding grant also earmarks money for a new logo, so looking for exciting things in that area as well as our trail corridor gets branded.
Speaking of branding, some good news came up at our brochure subcommittee meeting this week.  It appears that Mountaindale's new banners (look for news on a design contest in coming issue) are still in the works, as well as some other things including new flower boxes, and it is assumed new table clothes as well.  The banners, and new flower boxes were mentioned as a part of the earmarked money that is going to be spent from MCDP's big win this past year with Sullivan Renaissance, in a discussion about money that could be spent on the trail. Exciting times for our community with all these positive improvements looming on the horizon.  In other trail news, the full "Rails to Trails" committee meets this morning at Tony's...being sick, I will be unable to attend, so if someone could call me with an update that would be great.

In other local news...Rock Hill, who came in Third last year behind Mountaindale has some BIG PLANS for 2012 when it comes to Sullivan Renaissance.  They will be parlaying win from last year, and the grant money that came with it into a major Category C application for 2012.   In full disclosure here, last year was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed working with the folks in Mountaindale on our great win, and wanted to continue my involvements with Sullivan Renaissance...it is that wish of wanting to continue working with Sullivan Renaissance that has seen me join the Rock Hill team for 2012, and really looking forward to working with those folks.

"News on the Run"

In BIG BREAKING NEWS, seems that Rick Santorum actually WON IOWA...problem is, the Republicans in Iowa are not watnting to declare him the winner, and instead are now claiming that Iowa was a tie....no, Santorum won it by some 39 votes.  As the old saying goes, give the devil his due...Mitt rode out of Iowa a winner, claiming a BIG MO that he was not entitled too, and declaring Santorum a winner is the only RIGHT THING TO DO.

Talk about HUMAN ERROR (more like wanton and egregious negligence), seems the folks at TEPCO had accidentally cut back up power to the melted down reactor MONTHS BEFORE the Tsunami, and then NEVER HAD IT RECONNECTED...this is the kind of stuff we expect out of Entergy, the kind of stuff the NRC turns the other way on in a routine matter.

"A Kodak Moment!"...the company is BANKRUPT.  This is sad news for this old photographer who still misses the good old days of taking a handful of TriX film out into the field, then coming home and spending days down in my basement darkroom.  Much like movie rental company that fell too the likes of Netflick who got a head of the curve, Kodak jumped into the digital photography game late, wrongfully assuming that digital would never push it's way to the top of the heap...well, it did, and roll film and the developing of it is all but obsolete now days.

Obama Bitch Slaps Boehner and Republicans, rightfully rejects Keystone Project!  Doing the Snoopy dance on this one!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hacktivists...Beware of US Army Cyber Command

The news is racing through the ether's of cyberspace...The Department of Homeland Security is monitoring our Social Media Communications, basically infringing upon our "civil rights", threatening our "Freedom of Speech".  That news from my perspective is no news at all, it is something we all knew, or at least expected. Perhaps more alarming to hacktivists should be the US Army Cyber Command which was founded in 2010.  some "Cyber Security" experts have labeled 2012 as the year of the "Cyber War".

If one reads the McAfee  Report which forecasts cyber threats in 2012 you find disturbing ideas that require further scrutiny...for instance, would like to see the Pentagon report wherein our military says it will treat cyberspace as an "Operational Domain."  Included in said report, though little was made of it is a hint that the Department of Defense is creating a new doctrine that will highlight how the United States military will retaliate for a cyberattack, and one has to pose the question, "Will our military look to make a public demonstration of their doctrine by using our military might to go after say members of Anonymous?
(Reuters) - The Defense Department unveiled a new strategy for protecting military computer networks from hackers on Thursday, designating cyberspace as an "operational domain" U.S. forces will be trained to defend.
When you have determined individuals publishing attack codes, one can understand the worry that our military has...I mean it is their duty to protect America's corporate assets right?  God forbid that online protests using DoS are successful in shutting down say Mastercard or PayPals servers for awhile. Herein is the crux of that slippery slope...is the Pentagon's plans to make cyberspace a "Operational Domain" planned to protect military web portals and servers, or will said plans, and the force of the military be deployed to protect corporate interests and stifle free speech?  

Groups all over the world including our own "Occupy Movement" here in America use the internet, social media as an organizational tool to get their information out...could and would the United States Military shut down certain sites, or limit access in the name of "National Security"?  When one considers the new military vision for the future, when one realizes that the Pentagon sees a future where they use military assets to aid the Department of Homeland Security, the scary answer has too be yes, and in that yes is the very startling reality that our own American Democracy is now under attack from within, our military and the Department of Homeland Security threatening our civil liberties in the name of keeping us safe.

Army Cyber's Creed is a bit Scary

Cyber is not just a network. We operate in a contested environment which therefore makes it critical to improve our defense systems. These key defensive positions are manned by our Soldiers, civilians and contractors who need support to maintain the immediate tactical edge and expand strategic boundaries.
Network dominance is an integral part of the cyber fight – today and tomorrow. Cyber threats demand new approaches to managing information, securing information, and ensuring our ability to operate. Cyberspace is on par with the other war-fighting domains of land, sea, air and space. It is in cyberspace that we must use our strategic vision to dominate the information environment throughout interdependencies and independent systems.

The U.S. Army Cyber Command/2nd Army's breadth of responsibility spans the entire Army and the entire world - from the tactical edge to the strategic enterprise-level or national levels. Traditional boundaries no longer exist and anonymous attacks can occur literally at near light speed over fiber optic networks. Our enemies will deny the freedom of movement on our networks and use whatever they can from wherever in the world they are to gain advantage.

Army Cyber Command/2nd Army plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes, directs, and conducts network operations and defense of all Army networks; when directed, conducts cyberspace operations in support of full spectrum operations to ensure U.S./Allied freedom of action in cyberspace, and to deny the same to our adversaries. The total command strength will exceed 21,000 Soldiers and civilians and will be funded from within existing fiscal resources.

Cyber Command is composed of a professional team of elite warriors defending Army networks and providing full spectrum cyber, enabling mission command and providing global advantage! The cyber war fighting requires impact, integration, risk, and knowing ourselves, the enemy, and the cyber terrain.
We are the Army leader in operating, maintaining, and defending the network.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Homeland Security Monitors Social Media

Up Yours

Saturday Musings, and "News on the Run"

One of Our Local Residents
Up early here, the deep freeze we are in seeing me rise early to make a cup of coffee, and kick up the heat to knock the chill off of my apartment.  Slight flurries of snow are dancing about just outside my window, frost creeping up the pains of glass.  Went outside to look at my electric meter, frowned as I watched the little wheel whirling about, dollars ringing up for the utility company as I attempt to chase away the cold...this weather is truly a budget buster for those on a limited income.  The good news in all this is that any real chance of snow has been pushed off till Tuesday...so, today might be a good day to run out and do a bit of grocery shopping before we find ourselves shut in.

In local news, the "Rails to Trails" committee is hoping for some good news this coming week from the "Parks and Trails New York" folks...they have applied for a $3,000 grant.  The decision is slated to be made, and recipients notified this coming Tuesday, January 16, 2012.  The "Capacity Building" grant would be used for such things as a new membership brochure, and a full blown web presence for the trail.  This grant would dovetail nicely with Mountaindale's own plans for new banners, flower boxes and other improvements made possible through the $7,000 grant the community won in last year's Sullivan Renaissance program.  These types of grant funds from outside sources, administered properly bode well for our small hamlet.

Saturday "News on the Run"

Lifestyles of the Rich and Political...take a look at some of the homes Republican Politicians are living in, including one of Mitt Romney's worth almost TEN MILLION DOLLARS (he has several).  He and some of the others living high on the proverbial hog want us to believe they are men of the people.

Cruise ship capsizes after hitting a sandbar...at least three dead, though over 50 others are still missing, so look for the death toll from this tragic accident to rise.  129 Americans were on board when the ship ran aground. 

In more FRACKING NEWS, seems that Lisa Jackson is content to drag the US EPA's feet, content to duck the issues as the citizens of Dimock, PA continue to drink POISON WATER.    One has to wonder which New York communities will be forced to follow in Dimock's footsteps, our children's health being threatened as they have no choice but to drink water CONTAMINATED by the Natural Gas industry's unsafe Hydraulic Fracturing of our pristine lands.

Brilliant homeless teenager and her family now have a home, and they get their dog back in the bargain...this is a feel good story.

Hope you have enjoyed today's "News on the Run"...time to go out and brave the cold as I get my car started, and parked back out on Main Street here in downtown Mountaindale.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Brrrrr...It is SO FREAKING COLD....and of Course, Friday "News on the Run"

Brrrr....DANG, it is seriously cold outside, especially with the howling winds blowing down Main Street, the tattered awnings outside my window fluttering in the breeze.   Not saying it is cold out, but my car doors were frozen solid...took 10 minutes to get in.    This weather will seem like a CAKE WALK by tomorrow night when it is supposed to go down to single digits...as in 2 DEGREES!  So much for that theory I was working on about a mild winter.

To my local friends (Mike, Mark, Patty and Iris) who gave me venison this year, thank you so very much.  Having two small steaks for dinner this evening, and it is ever so tasty.  Pan cooked, some capers, Bermuda onion, herbs, spices, and some Merlot...OMG...so simple, yet so very good...did I mention garlic?

A local recommendation...went over to 2 Good Guys Auto Repair the other day to get a couple of new tires and a oil change.  Great folks, great work, and the price was very reasonable as well.  Give them a call at (845) 434-4107...they do towing to (nice to know in winter)...the towing number is (845) 428-0174.
Reginald Williams
2 Good Guys Auto Repair
49 Roosevelt Ave.
Woodridge, NY 12789

Friday "News on the Run"

The big news for those of us here in New York (besides the weather) involves FRACKING.  Seems that the US EPA beat the comments submission deadline by a scant three hours, and they have quite a bit to say, much of it ANGERING THE INDUSTRY.  Seems like many of us, they do not feel some of the rules go far enough, and specifically, they are calling for LARGER setbacks for our drinking water, while the industry (big surprise) wants even smaller set backs when it comes to protecting our water.  When I ponder the industry's wishes, why does the phrase, "Take a hike" jump quickly to mind.  Could it have anything to do with the fact that I know they are LYING to us?

In his harshest attacks yet on Mitt Romney's job creation claims, Newt Gingrich LAUGHED at him today in Miami...in breaking news...When Newt Gingrich smiled, his face cracked.  In all seriousness, even though I despise Mitt Romney, sure he is having the last laugh knowing that Newt is not n the ballot in his own home state of Virginia where he has lived since becoming a perennial Washington, DC insider. 

A report that made me smile...seems that Apple, who has no clue when it comes to customer service (waving at RW), also has no problems with its supply chain (manufacturing locations) having some pretty horrid work place practices!  Maybe it is time everyone seriously considers boycotting Apple till they can get their customer service and production issues resolved in a HUMANE FASHION?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When It Comes to Customer Service, APPLE NEEDS A CLUE

This morning, having received no contact from the apparently too busy to care RW at Apple Customer Care, either by phone or email, decided to call Apple  this morning in an attempt to resolve my issues with the company.  Part of me would like to think Steve Jobs is rolling over in his grave at this saga, but if being honest here, the customer service protocols at Apple were probably instituted under his watch, which leads to the conclusion he would approve of the manner in which his staff has handled this case.  As a sub note to this saga, don't bother calling the corporate headquarters at 408-996-1010 and asking to speak to the new Chairman of the Board Arthur D Levinson (see Genentech and NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc), as he does not deem to speak to mere mortals like you and I as Apple has us locked into a box that forbids us escaping from a non functioning Customer Care Department.

Apple...Bad To The Core?
Around 10:30 I placed my call, and when someone in customer service answered, I asked to speak to the manager of said department (knowing we common folk are not allowed such access).  A syrupy sweet calming voice on the other end of the line asked me to explain too them just what my problem was, asked that I give them a chance to see if they could help.  Been there, done that, but I proceeded to tell my story in four part harmony when I was told, "OK, stop it right there and let me put you on hold while I pass this call along to someone else that can better help you with your problem.  Do you mind if I put you on hold for a few minutes while I fill them in on everything."

Sure, be happy to hold, I just love sitting here holding a phone in my hand while you explain everything to someone else who will come on the line and ask me to repeat the whole story over to them again anyway."

Missing my sarcasm, the customer service representative placed me on hold, was gone for a little over ten minutes...it is assumed looking for someone that she could pass the call off to as it was well beyond their own skills, and the script booklet that was and is every phone reps holy grail of how to deal with members of the public.  Rule number one of which is, "Never let them speak to anyone that could actually make an executive decision that could  solve the problem."
Finally the rep in her syrupy voice pops online to inform me she is passing my call over to someone else who will be able to resolve my issues, make me again a "Happy Camper".  So now, passed along to person number two in my ordeal (not counting the robot who had assured me it could understand and comprehend complex phrases...which it cannot).  Wanting to save some time, I asked this person if the first customer service rep had adequately explained my situation.  

"Not really, can you tell me what you are having problems with?"

Biting my tongue, with great gnashing of teeth, pulling out some of my already thinning hair, I again start my tale from the beginning with four part harmony and various assorted lamentations about the insanity of the entire situation, when again I hear, "Stop it right there, I am going to need to escalate this up the ladder too someone else, can you please hold?"

Another long waiting period listening to Apple's insipid hold music (maybe they should do some shopping on ITunes), and this second person comes back on the line to introduce me to Robyn who will be helping me from here on out...happy, happy, joy, joy.  Now I knew this phone conversation was not going to end with me being a happy camper when she almost immediately informs me, that she is pretty much on an equal par with RW (remember RW), and so can only do so much in an attempt to solve my issues...cutting to the chase, what she was saying was she would not be able to give me what I had ordered at the price I ordered it for UNLESS people higher up were brought into the lope (tangled ball of string)...and we are talking for WHAT REASON?

I'd asked to speak to someone higher up the food chain over an hour ago, and though a mere mortal like myself is not allowed into that Apple Ivory Tower, not allowed too speak to any one above the level of peon and piss ant, it seemed I was going to need to give Robyn at least 24 hours to look into some things...every time RW (remember RW) asked for 24 hours, it was more like days, even weeks before (or if) I heard back from him.  Must like our dear RW, Robyn too gave me her DIRECT DIAL number (877 388-0879 ext. 48076) which when called funnels you into the same message and answering machine that RW has set up for himself.

She did ask me what I would like to resolve my issues with Apple...now, what I would like is the Apple iMac (28 inch screen) with all the bells and whistles, but we all know that Apple is not going to give me an almost $7,000 computer.  However, that is NOT WHAT I ASKED FOR...I said I wanted them to uphold and honor the deal they had made to me, and wanted a letter of apology from Apple...apparently that last one greatly complicates things, as Apple does not like having to admit in writing that they made some mistakes, does not want to write a letter of apology to ANYONE.

So, almost four months from when this saga originally started, the tale continues on.

Thursday "News on the Run"...Editorial

We had a nice snow overnight that is turning into an icy slush as a cold biting rain hammers our little hamlet, the sound of snow removal equipment waking me to this new day, almost but not quite blanking out the sound of my TV as CNN brings me the morning's newest breaking news, which in most cases is nothing more than a rerun of news they previously brought to my attention.

One headline caught my attention...Santorum (perhaps positioning himself as VP, or a nod to some other job on the taxpayers backs) is defending Mitt Romney, saying attacks on his time at Bain Capital amount to a attack on Capitalism.   While rolling this concept around in my head, saw another article wherein the Pew Institute says there is a greater resentment/conflict growing between the rich and poor...I know, can we have a duh moment here (just give me the money they spent on that survey, and I could have told you that).  

Could it be that both Santorum and the UBER RICH need to wake up to a basic reality?  Capitalism in its current form is not working for most Americans, few Reagan's trickle down economics nothing more than a cruel joke that kept the poor at bay for another years while the rich continue to get richer, stacking the deck in their favor at every step of the way.
Americans have traditionally been the most enthusiastic champions of capitalism.  Yet a recent American public opinion survey found that just 50 per cent of people had a positive opinion of capitalism while 40 per cent did not.  The disillusionment was particularly marked among young people 18-29, African Americans and Hispanics, those with incomes under $30,000 and self-described Democrats.

The American Dream taught to us was simple...if you worked hard, played by the rules you would get ahead in life, live comfortably, odds were good that your children would have a better life (style) than you had as a result of your efforts.  You were taught that being loyal to your employer would see your employer being loyal (and fair) to you.  Fact is, in 2012, that American Dream is all but DEAD.  The middle class is being decimated with each passing day, the richest getting ever richer, hard working Americans struggling just to keep a roof over their heads, and food on the plates of themselves and their family.  The few jobs that are out there pay a wage meant to see you barely surviving, paying you what amounts to SLAVE WAGES, all in the name of corporate profits and the bottom line.
According to the 2000 Census:
12.8% of US households lived on $25,000-$34,999 a year
12.8% of US households lived on $15,000-$25,999 a year
6.3% of US households lived on $10,000-$14,999 a year
9.5% of US households lived on less than $10,000 a year
This means that 44.1% of Americans lived on $34,999 or less a year even with both parents working FULL TIME.
There is no better example of Main Street America's anger with the UBER RICH (ruling class) than the "Occupy Movement" that spread across America this past fall.  That movement may be floundering in the winter winds, but look for the remaining embers to light a brush fire that spreads across America with the coming of spring, look for larger protests, and if the same tactics used to put a choke hold on the movement this past fall are used by police departments in the spring, perhaps protests will turn into open riots, as 150 years after the Civil War we again see Americans fighting Americans, brothers against brothers as the great uncleansed masses rise up and say, "ENOUGH".

Santorum's defense of Mitt Romney, his defense of Mitt's time at Bain Capital where he employed a scorched earth policy to the work force shows that he, nor Mitt Romney has a clue when it comes to the life and needs of Average Americans, shows them both unfit to hold political office, let alone hold the highest office in the land.  Millions of Americans have been disenfranchised, even though they want to work at a living wage, there are no jobs to be found, or if a job is too be found it pays a paltry wage, and is part time.  Sadness and despair are rapidly being replaced with anger, you can sense a deep seething hatred starting to bubble up too the surface as the tone of conversations outside  grocery stores, or in the local pub or bars is changing as people state boldly that something has to change, the words making it clear they feel sold out by those in government supposed to protect us, those who are supposed to keep the playing field relatively fair...it seems all the Republican candidates are ignorant of this growing rip in the fabric of America, and if truth be told, the Democrats are no better, both parties pandering to special interests, rather than doing what is RIGHT FOR THE NATION.